First Team Squad

Player profile and performance records.

Pablo Fornals (Midfielder)

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Pablo Fornals

Castellon, Spain
Squad Number: 8
Position: Midfielder
Born: 22nd Feb 1996 (Castellon, Spain)
Signed: 14th Jun 2019 (£24,000,000)
Contract: 5 years
Previous Club: Villareal

KUMB Awards: Best Signing (third place) 2019/20.

The attacking midfielder joined West Ham in the summer of 2019, having previously been linked with the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal.

Fornals arrived in London for a fee of ??24million - the second highest transfer fee ever paid by West Ham at the time.

He changed shirt number from #18 to #8 ahead of the 2021/22 season.

On 1 February 2024, the winter transfer window deadline, Fornals agreed to join Real Betis for a rumoured ?,?6 million fee. The deal was officially confirmed the following day, with the player signing a contract with the La Liga outfit until 2029.

 

vs Sheffield United

2-2: Sunday, 21st January
(Played 90 minutes)

Wayward too often, but then played some vital link passes and create openings, started attacks. Getting better, but least he works hard to cover the gaps.

vs Bristol City

1-1: Sunday, 7th January
(Played 90 minutes)

Faded in the second half after some clever passing in the first. Doesn't look completely out of things at the moment, and this may have been the first game in months where he's looked in-sync with his teammates, but it still needed more.

vs Brighton

0-0: Tuesday, 2nd January
(Played 90 minutes)

Defensively very disciplined and worked hard off the ball. This was obviously important, but the complete lack of an attacking threat and poor use of the ball going forward made him a problem. Fans have started to want him not to get the ball.

vs Arsenal

2-0: Tuesday, 26th December

Did not play.

vs Arsenal

2-0: Tuesday, 26th December

Did not play.

vs Manchester United

2-0: Saturday, 23rd December
(Played 2 minutes, sub)

Not involved long enough to influence proceedings, but good to see him on the pitch (however briefly).

vs Liverpool

1-5: Wednesday, 20th December
(Played 90 minutes)

Oh Pablo, where have you gone? Currently a shadow of the player he was two years ago - hopefully a blip, rather than another dose of the 'Mervyn Days' (for the younger readers, ex-'keeper whose career went up the Swannee after he got married).

vs Liverpool

1-5: Wednesday, 20th December
(Played 90 minutes)

Needed to be that creative outlet to link the attack and defence but wasn?EUR(TM)t that and failed to make a few key passes.

vs Freiburg

2-0: Thursday, 14th December
(Played 35 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Alvarez, 55) The game was very flat for the last half hour, but Fornals added a wide option and played reasonably well.

vs Fulham

0-5: Saturday, 9th December
(Played 90 minutes)

Tried manfully and had the odd useful moment, a couple crosses from the left were good and he was unlucky not to get anything from them.

vs Tottenham Hotspur

2-1: Tuesday, 5th December
(Played 1 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Kudus, 88) Looked bright once again off the bench and has to be in contention for Sunday's game or the Europa league game against Freiburg.

vs Tottenham Hotspur

2-1: Tuesday, 5th December
(Played 1 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Kudus, 88) Too late to really have an impact.

vs Crystal Palace

1-1: Saturday, 2nd December
(Played 1 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Alvarez, 89) Looked bright and energetic when he came on and provided a few good crosses when he came on. If we brought him on earlier we might have had a chance of getting a winner.

vs Nottingham Forest

3-2: Sunday, 12th November

Did not play.

vs Nottingham Forest

3-2: Sunday, 12th November

Did not play.

vs Olympiacos

1-0: Thursday, 9th November

Did not play.

vs Olympiacos

1-0: Thursday, 9th November

Did not play.

vs Arsenal

3-1: Wednesday, 1st November

Did not play.

vs Arsenal

3-1: Wednesday, 1st November

Did not play.

vs Olympiacos

1-2: Thursday, 26th October
(Played 90 minutes)

Anonymous throughout the game. The only good moment for him was when he linked up with Emerson. Looked visibly upset when he was substituted for Antonio.

vs Olympiacos

1-2: Thursday, 26th October
(Played 90 minutes)

A sad sight. Even the workrate, a key part of his game even out of form, is just gone. He just looks unhappy, and he's not doing anything to convince you he could do better with a start or two.

vs Aston Villa

1-4: Saturday, 21st October
(Played 0 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Antonio 90) Came on too late to rate.

vs Aston Villa

1-4: Saturday, 21st October
(Played 0 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Antonio 90) Given another almost insulting stoppage time cameo. He will leave in the summer, basically pushed out.

vs Newcastle United

2-2: Saturday, 7th October

Did not play.

vs Sheffield United

2-0: Saturday, 30th September
(Played 0 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Paqueta 90) N/A

vs FK TSC Backa Topola

3-1: Thursday, 21st September
(Played 90 minutes)

Not bad, but nothing like a final pass really came off. Better off the ball than on it.

vs Luton Town

2-1: Friday, 1st September
(Played 19 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Benrahma 71) Worked hard and did a lot of the pressing and running in the Luton half, but also failed to have an impact on the West Ham play with the ball.

vs Brighton & Hove Albion

3-1: Saturday, 26th August
(Played 5 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Alvarez, 85) Solid and worked hard.

vs Bournemouth

1-1: Saturday, 12th August
(Played 90 minutes)

No headline-grabbing moments, although the interception that led to the goal was brilliantly-timed and executed.

vs Boreham Wood

4-1: Monday, 10th July
(Played 79 minutes)

No match comments.

vs Fiorentina

2-1: Wednesday, 7th June
(Played 14 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Benrahma 76) His best work was defensively, and especially everything he did to keep the workrate up in stoppage time.

vs Leicester City

1-2: Sunday, 28th May
(Played 90 minutes)

You could see a player desperate to play and make an impression. He was involved in most of what made West Ham watchable, scored a great goal and created chances for others. His return to form is timely, one way or another, West Ham will need their bench if they are to find success in Prague.

vs Leeds United

3-1: Sunday, 21st May
(Played 90 minutes)

Seeing Pablo Fornals roaming around the pitch, doing as he wants, working hard and getting involved in play with clever forward passes, it was a joy to have him back. He has had a hard season, and he looked lost, but a bit of confidence has come back recently and you see the player he is.

vs AZ Alkmaar

1-0: Thursday, 18th May
(Played 15 minutes, sub)

(Replaced (Benrahma 75) I love you, Pablo.

vs Brentford

0-2: Sunday, 14th May
(Played 90 minutes)

There were little glimpses early on that he and Lanzini could link well, playing nice triangles and quick exchanges. But that disappeared and Fornals couldn't find a pass. He's beginning to look a player suited only to our strict counter-attacking years, at least as a wide player. Needs to be used centrally, which is where he played before joining.

vs AZ Alkmaar

2-1: Thursday, 11th May
(Played 1 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Benrahma 90) Stoppage time sub.

vs Manchester United

1-0: Sunday, 7th May
(Played 3 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Benrahma, 87) A sub to waste a few valuable seconds - even though, with the added nine minutes, he actually played for 12.

vs Manchester City

0-3: Wednesday, 3rd May
(Played 90 minutes)

The right pick in a game where structure and discipline is important. Worked hard, pressed well and was also good in that first line of defence.

vs Crystal Palace

3-4: Saturday, 29th April
(Played 90 minutes)

It is hard for Pablo to get any rhythm when he gets little cameos. He then got hooked here after 45 minutes, and whilst he wasn?EUR(TM)t good, it?EUR(TM)s not really fair to give him a half and no further chance to improve.

vs Bournemouth

4-0: Sunday, 23rd April
(Played 25 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Benrahma 65) Brilliant improvisation and a good performance with his passing.

vs Gent

4-1: Thursday, 20th April

(Replaced Benrahma 78) As above - one really good pass did set Cornet through. Needs to calm himself, looks so frustrated in any misstep.

vs Arsenal

2-2: Sunday, 16th April
(Played 0 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Benrahma 90') Not on long.

vs Fulham

1-0: Saturday, 8th April
(Played 90 minutes)

It was harsh on Pablo to be taken off. It?EUR(TM)s not that he was outstanding, but he was doing his defensive work very diligently and passed forward better than we?EUR(TM)ve had for a long time. The two strikers being awful made his performance worse than his individual efforts.

vs Southampton

1-0: Sunday, 2nd April
(Played 3 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Paqueta 87) A couple of clever passes to Antonio were wasted by the striker, and also showed what is missing in this team. There is a creativity and attacking intent to his passing that is lacking in this team. It is a shame the manager cannot see Fornals in the space Soucek is taking.

vs AEK Larnaca

4-0: Thursday, 16th March
(Played 90 minutes)

There really needs to be a way for Moyes to find a spot in his Premier League team for Pablo Fornals. The constant energy, running and desire to look forward for a pass adds something the side if otherwise lacking. He isn't as skilful as Benrahma, he doesn't score like Bowen, but his game is full of intelligence and workrate that the other two cannot match.

vs Aston Villa

1-1: Sunday, 12th March
(Played 13 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Paqueta 77) Struggled to really get involved, and should have made something of what would have been his first touch.

vs AEK Larnaca

2-0: Thursday, 9th March
(Played 90 minutes)

Good in bursts and moved intelligently into space, but a few sloppy touches and passes just stopped it from being a good performance.

vs Brighton & Hove Albion

0-4: Saturday, 4th March
(Played 45 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Benraham 45) Improved some of the forward passing, but his energy faded as he seemed to become lost within the lifeless performances around him.

vs Manchester United

1-3: Wednesday, 1st March
(Played 90 minutes)

Never really sparkled, but used the ball with more creativity than this side has been used to without him. Benrahma?EUR(TM)s pass through to Antonio in the first half was spectacular, but it doesn?EUR(TM)t come without the quick pass out wide to him form Fornals, and it?EUR(TM)s not a pass Bowen is likely to play or one Soucek could.

vs Nottingham Forest

4-0: Saturday, 25th February

(Replaced Benrahma 82) Looked really sharp, came on with a point to prove. The delay, touch and then cross for Antonio's goal was perfect. Deserves more time.

vs Tottenham Hotspur

0-2: Sunday, 19th February

(Replaced Ogbonna 81) Gets credit for the energy he came on with and his willingness to get on the ball and try and find forward passes. In this team, there is a very low bar for that.

vs Chelsea

1-1: Saturday, 11th February

Did not play.

vs Newcastle United

1-1: Saturday, 4th February
(Played 16 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Benrahma 74) Did what was required, working hard and pressing up top, whilst coming back and defending the left.

vs Derby County

2-0: Monday, 30th January
(Played 90 minutes)

Not a great first half, but when he went central, he started to make things tick and it was the reason the lack of possession in the first half became dominance of the ball in the second. Intelligence off the ball makes the second goal.

vs Wolves

0-1: Saturday, 14th January
(Played 90 minutes)

A baffling change, just as Fornals looked to be getting to grips with the middle of the park and helping shift his team forward.

vs Brentford

1-0: Saturday, 7th January
(Played 4 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Antonio 86) N/A

vs Leeds United

2-2: Wednesday, 4th January
(Played 90 minutes)

Fornals' typical industry and his linking passes improved West Ham's attacking play, and set the tone for how to fight through bad form. Hard work is the answer, and Fornals defends from the front with unmatched energy.

vs Arsenal

1-3: Monday, 26th December
(Played 13 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Soucek 77) Came on with a spark and looked hungry to make a difference. He didn?EUR(TM)t really achieve it, but he tried.

vs Leicester City

0-2: Saturday, 12th November
(Played 15 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Soucek 75) It wasn?EUR(TM)t the worst error of the game, even the worst pass. In fact, it was a pass a few in the team had tried and failed with on the day. But at that moment, Leicester countered and scored. He was wayward with his passing, looking too eager to impress.

vs Crystal Palace

1-2: Sunday, 6th November

(Replaced Paqueta 90) Well played in the week, Pablo, here?EUR(TM)s 2 minutes.

vs FCSB

3-0: Thursday, 3rd November
(Played 90 minutes)

The real Pablo Fornals turned up, finding space, roaming where he needed and just finding dangerous areas, providing incisive passes and really making West Ham tick The goals were excellent, but so were his passes and crossing.

vs Manchester United

0-1: Sunday, 30th October
(Played 13 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Downes 77) Made a big, big chance and just had a forward eye for a pass.

vs Silkeborg

1-0: Thursday, 27th October
(Played 68 minutes)

The best passer on the pitch, if only he could finish. Looked more like his old self, and seemed to really thrive in central positions with the striker?EUR(TM)s runs in front of him.

vs AFC Bournemouth

2-0: Monday, 24th October
(Played 3 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Downes 87) Not really involved in his cameo.

vs Liverpool

0-1: Wednesday, 19th October
(Played 90 minutes)

He wasn?EUR(TM)t quite abysmal like Kehrer and Johnson, but he wasn?EUR(TM)t good. There were still those moments where you could see his eye for a creative pass was better than any of his teammates, but he looked panicked in attacking areas and is just a touch out of form.

vs Anderlecht

2-1: Thursday, 13th October
(Played 45 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Paqueta 46) Fit into the team and how they were playing perfectly, and was useful to fit into different roles when the team needed it.

vs Fulham

3-1: Sunday, 9th October
(Played 90 minutes)

Got better as it went on and is looking a better player now the team is more settled and the passing around him is getting better. The left side was very good, and he created chances and defended well.

vs RSC Anderlecht

1-0: Thursday, 6th October

(Replaced Bowen 86) Love his ambition, at least, for that shot.

vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

2-0: Saturday, 1st October
(Played 54 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Cornet 34) Probably a change that would have happened anyway, in the long run, as Pablo's presence did help us control and pass the ball better. He wasn't in full flow, but he still makes the best forward passes and helps the team control the ball and use it so much better (and more interestingly).

vs Everton

0-1: Sunday, 18th September
(Played 90 minutes)

Possibly a touch harsh considering he had moments of creativity, but he wasn?EUR(TM)t good. The attacking unit isn?EUR(TM)t working, and they can all take blame as they have all had more bad than good in their play this season.

vs Silkeborg

3-2: Thursday, 15th September

(Replaced Cornet 86) About as bad as Bowen, and had he had more time, he might have been.

vs FCSB

3-1: Thursday, 8th September

(Replaced Cornet 68) The inventive sparkle that was needed. Gets the ball forward quicker than others in midfield, but never aimlessly. Just has a creative vein to everything he tries, and it made a big difference.

vs Chelsea

1-2: Saturday, 3rd September
(Played 90 minutes)

As with Soucek, Fornals was very disciplined defensively and covered his areas well. Could have been better with the ball.

vs Tottenham Hotspur

1-1: Wednesday, 31st August
(Played 90 minutes)

His tactical intelligence is a huge benefit to the team at the moment. There is no other player you could trust to be a wing back, a winger and a midfielder. Some lovely clever passes, mixed with the odd rough one. Needs to find composure when in shooting positions.

vs Aston Villa

1-0: Sunday, 28th August
(Played 90 minutes)

Another game where, for large spells, only he and Cresswell could pass forward. But he also had a few easy passes that he was far too casual with and failed to deliver. However, the system change worked for him, and he was then smart enough to be the man who made it work as he flitted into different positions. The goal was lucky, but he got into a good pocket of space and took a chance.

vs Viborg FF

3-0: Thursday, 25th August
(Played 90 minutes)

Quieter off the left, but it was brilliant by him down the left for the first goal, even if it came after his cross was cleared. Passed well, worked hard.

vs Brighton & Hove Albion

0-2: Sunday, 21st August
(Played 90 minutes)

Worked hard, but couldn't push out to a press and drop in to help the midfield. Then just got lost in the shuffle. Still, he can produce inventive passes and really seems the only one who can pass forward and take players out of the game. Where everyone else seems robotic, he has a spark of magic, but you can?EUR(TM)t have just one creative passer in a team.

vs Viborg FF

3-1: Thursday, 18th August
(Played 45 minutes, sub)

(Replaced Lanzini 45) It wasn?EUR(TM)t so much the individual bits he did, but the energy and the desire to pass forward, and try dangerous passes, that made the difference.

vs Nottingham Forest

0-1: Sunday, 14th August
(Played 90 minutes)

Just seems to be the only player in the side who can see a difficult pass and make it, especially forwards. He and Benrahma looked to be playing a different game to their teammates, one with risk and threat. Unlucky not to score, but worked hard, found space and did well helping defensively in the middle.

vs Manchester City

0-2: Sunday, 7th August
(Played 90 minutes)

Created two dangerous opportunities with his crosses early on, and then worked hard but ultimately couldn?EUR(TM)t get into the game much himself. But, compared to Lanzini, Bowen, Antonio and Benrahma, he was at least involved, creating chances, making key passes and some good interceptions.

Servette FC

2-0: Friday, 8th July

Whilst he still played some of the better passes, he was also extremely sloppy with the ball as the game went on. Should have been withdrawn sooner.

Brighton & Hove Albion

1-3: Sunday, 22nd May

Whilst he still played some of the better passes, he was also extremely sloppy with the ball as the game went on. Should have been withdrawn sooner.

Manchester City

2-2: Sunday, 15th May

The first-time pass for the first goal is outrageous, both in vision and execution. He sees a picture none of our other players do. And then matches it with work rate, enthusiasm, drive and desire to win.

Norwich City

4-0: Saturday, 7th May

Looked a good fit in that 10 role, but nothing can be judged against Norwich.

Eintracht Frankfurt

0-1: Thursday, 5th May

Got a bit lost in an attacking sense as he tried to fill the gap of covering the left and having one less player. Missed the odd good passing opportunity, but kept running and put in a real defensive shift.

Arsenal

1-2: Sunday, 1st May

Faded in the second half but had a bright first. Looked good down the right with Coufal, and whilst he lacks the pace at times for the wing role, Coufal's aggressive overlaps made that less of an issue. It also allowed Pablo to drift and find things in the middle, which he loves to do.

Eintracht Frankfurt

1-2: Thursday, 28th April

Sloppy on the goal, just not aware and a reminder that he is good defensively for an attacking player, rather than a reliable defender. Got into the game and played some good passes but couldn't influence either.

Chelsea

0-1: Sunday, 24th April

Managed to play up front, on the wing, linking midfield to attack and defending deep too. He's a phenomenon of energy and intelligence on the football pitch.

Burnley

1-1: Sunday, 17th April

(Replaced Lanzini, 78) Got on the ball, passed reasonably well. Not on a long time. His absence was felt.

Lyon

3-0: Thursday, 14th April

His pass completion being in the 60% area should not allow a 10, but Jack can get the finer details (and he always does, so excellently). But two assists, the vision and delivery of that pass to Bowen in particular. He works so hard, he's back defending one second and then you see him leading the press or chasing down lost balls.

Brentford

0-2: Sunday, 10th April

As Pablo always does, he tried to work hard and make things happen. It didn't work. Some of the brighter moments, or hints of moments, involved his passing, but it was not a good performance, just without being quite as bad as some others.

Lyon

1-1: Thursday, 7th April

West Ham only really got playing in the first half when Fornals went into the midfield properly and started getting on the ball. He sees the picture on the pitch better than any of his teammates. The second half, well, it's impossible to know where he finds the energy. He worked so hard at the back, yet he's up with Bowen on the counter and he's there to set up the goal. Incredible determination.

Everton

2-1: Sunday, 3rd April

A solid and hardworking game, with clever and incisive passing. The pass that set Antonio away on the second goal is something he does with such ease and sets him apart.

Tottenham

1-3: Sunday, 20th March

(Replaced Masuaku, 56) Worked hard and was a much better presence down the left than Masuaku. But didn't really change the game.

Seville

2-0: Thursday, 17th March

Industrious and irrepressible. It was a 7 until that shot forced Bounou to pass it up nicely for Yarmolenko to tuck in. He was probably better as a defender, on the front foot and tracking back, than he was on the ball. He was by no means sloppy, just not as sharp as he has been in the past.

Aston Villa

2-1: Sunday, 13th March

Took his goal very well, a smart finish and no messing about. And that’s a positive change. Doesn’t influence play as much from the right, whilst his lack of pace makes an attack of him and Johnson quite functional. But also very secure, so it balances that well.

Seville

0-1: Thursday, 10th March

A good first half was followed by a messy second half. Lost accuracy and composure with his passing, then tried to be too clever in his own defence when it needed to be cleared. He defended well in the first 45, but a sharper attacking performance would have seen West Ham score, and a smarter defensive performance in the second half might have meant a clean sheet. Margins.

Liverpool

0-1: Saturday, 5th March

Dangerous passing, dogged defending and smart runs forward were all over Pablo's display. A seriously good display until the big miss is taken into account. Lanzini took his in an instant and got it wrong, but Pablo overdid it and made it harder.

Southampton

1-3: Wednesday, 2nd March

Faded as the game went on, but to take off the only player who really found dangerous forward passes was a risk. In the first half, West Ham looked good because Fornals was finding great passes. It's as simple as that.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

1-0: Sunday, 27th February

A quietly fantastic performance from Fornals, playing at left wing-back. Made the most tackles (five - 100% completed), played the ball aggressively forward and into the final third too, the only one really trying to make dangerous passes. Seven ball recoveries, took people on, worked up and down the line all game and his clever flick helped make space in the move for the goal.

Newcastle United

1-1: Saturday, 19th February

A generous 7 rather than a solid 6 because he was everywhere, worked hard when he looked to be running on empty and passed forward well, especially to start attacks. The passing in the team was not good enough, not smart or dangerous. Fornals at least played with his head up and with an intent to play passes that others seemed to turn down for safer options.

Leicester City

2-2: Sunday, 13th February

Took time to get going but did show intelligence in and around the box. A lot of his game on the left depends on Cresswell delivering, and Cresswell did not do that with any real accuracy today.

Watford

1-0: Tuesday, 8th February

Didn't really get into the game at all. Worked hard and was definitely a better choice to remain on than Benrahma as his discipline and work rate are important, but didn't quite make enough happen in the final third.

Kidderminster Harriers

2-1: Saturday, 5th February

(Replaced Vlasic, 77) If the pitch made it hard to pass, no one told Pablo. Came on to bring a forward passer with vision, which was completely lacking. The pass to Rice for the equaliser was perfectly delivered in precision and weight.

Manchester United

0-1: Saturday, 22nd January

Having returned on form, today he looked out of sorts. Just repeated poor choices and struggled on the left with Lanzini and Cresswell coming over to help and none of the three having any pace.

Leeds United

2-3: Sunday, 16th January

A very well taken goal, one that he made pretty much with his own skill and intelligence. Chances created for other, ran himself into the ground and did all the pressing yet got back into midfield too. The only bright spark from the game.

Norwich

2-0: Wednesday, 12th January

An absolute force of creativity, yet he comes away with no assists having created numerous big chances. His form had dipped around Christmas, but this looks like a return to his best. More key passes, more final third passes and more chances created in the game. Just smart passing with dangerous intent, his vision in attack the difference in his game to Lanzini, plus the workrate is phenomenal.

Leeds United

2-0: Sunday, 9th January

(Replaced Lanzini, 76) Very sharp cameo, his passing was direct but incisive and offered a different type of threat. Good to have him back and he’s needed with Benrahma away.

Southampton

2-3: Sunday, 26th December

Nothing worked, and he was a big reason as to why the first half was so bad. Even in times where he could not get into games, he was usually smart with the ball. Today, Fornals was sloppy in an inexcusable way.

Tottenham Hotspur

1-2: Wednesday, 22nd December

(Replaced Lanzini, 68) An upgrade on Lanzini, one as calm on the ball but who takes a few more risks going forward and is smarter defending from the front and at the back.

Arsenal

0-2: Wednesday, 15th December

He put his hard yards in, especially aware of when to cover Lanzini on the left and make sure Masuaku was supported, but failed to really do much going forward. After the Liverpool game, you can see why he's deployed centrally in these counter attacking games where we expect to defend. But he would probably have done better supporting the defending on the left.

Burnley

0-0: Saturday, 11th December

(Replaced Lanzini, 80) Tough for Fornals, coming into a game that was floundering with tired forward options.

Dinamo Zagreb

0-1: Thursday, 9th December

In a flat team, he looked to try and force a tempo into his timid teammates and he at least made the effort. Let down by others around him.

Chelsea

3-2: Saturday, 4th December

(Replaced Zouma, 71) Not a lot of time to impress but added energy and ambition. Good forward passing, then drops into the middle of the park to a traditional central midfield role and played with discipline and structure.

Brighton & Hove Albion

1-1: Wednesday, 1st December

A return to form, with an excellent corner and coming so close with a wonderful volley. Started counter attacks with good tackling and smart passing, would have defended Lamptey better than Masuaku did too.

Manchester City

1-2: Saturday, 27th November

Diligent in defence and was better on the ball this week. Did his job, it's just that his job was rather basic and boring, and the attacking side of the team just didn't work today for him to function in.

Rapid Vienna

2-0: Thursday, 25th November

(Replaced Lanzini, 65) Energetic and linked well with those around him.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

0-1: Saturday, 20th November

Lucky to get a five, one of his poorest performances in a West Ham shirt. Couldn't defend Semedo, didn't pass well, just seemed caught in between defending and attacking down the flank and doing neither.

Liverpool

3-2: Saturday, 6th November

Sensational. He was the man behind Antonio, he was running through on goal, then he was sitting beside Rice and disrupting attacks and defending with discipline. Some of his through balls were brilliant, he was key to starting counters with excellent passes and the key contributor for two goals, even if he won’t be given the first. Irrepressible, irreplaceable and irresistible.

Genk

2-2: Thursday, 4th November

(Replaced Masuaku, 58) Lifted the team, as did the other two substitutes, and showed more quality on the ball in simple things than Masuaku. Unlucky not to get a goal, if only the crosses had had a little less on them.

Aston Villa

4-1: Sunday, 31st October

Was a little up and down in chunks of the game, but he stays on because of his discipline and his ability to make smart choices on the ball under pressure. His hard work was rewarded late on, the goal taken well and his forward passing good to start the move for the fourth goal.

Manchester City

0-0: Wednesday, 27th October

(Replaced Masuaku, 62) Created a chance for Soucek and was comfortable on the ball, more ambitious than the players who had been on before him. Was on the right but floated around, as he does.

Tottenham Hotspur

1-0: Sunday, 24th October

The best moments in play arguably came through him. A lovely acrobatic volley, a good cross that Soucek should have scored from, forced a good save that led to the corner for the goal. Better today, improving and the best of an ineffective front four until Antonio scored.

KRC Genk

3-0: Thursday, 21st October

(Replaced Vlasic, 83) As above. It is more curious why they were used at all.

Everton

1-0: Sunday, 17th October

Aside from the fast opening, where Pablo excelled with clever intricate and fast passing, he was probably at his best when Soucek was removed and a wise head was needed in the middle to pass out from deep and not panic in possession. Needs to do better in front of goal.

Brentford

1-2: Sunday, 3rd October

He and Benrahma were the two with an eye for a pass in a first half where the side were poor in possession. Fornals linked the midfield well and brought the team forward, but his impact was much lesser by the end of the game. Another who should have been withdrawn late on.

Rapid Vienna

2-0: Thursday, 30th September

(Replaced Yarmolenko, 75) Lifted the team when he came on and should get a lot of credit. Before his arrival, it looked a team drifting to a sucker punch. Instead, Pablo got hold of the ball and brought life to the attack.

Leeds United

2-1: Saturday, 25th September

In a game full of tireless runners who could graft and play, Fornals struggled to match what Leeds were doing. He should have scored at least one, but did come to life just before he was substituted and showed his vision.

Manchester United

1-0: Wednesday, 22nd September

(Replaced Lanzini, 69) His class on the ball was highlighted when he came on and found players in ways other hadn’t, and with ease. His awareness of his teammates and his opponents is excellent.

Manchester United

1-2: Sunday, 19th September

Less suited to the right side of midfield than the left. His lack of pace seems more evident alongside Coufal, he is keen to play inside and was limited because he was turning more onto his weaker foot. He wasn’t bad, but didn’t get into the play as much as usual. Constantly nibbling at anyone who thought they had time on the ball around him.

Dinamo Zagreb

2-0: Thursday, 16th September

Heavily involved in the attacking play, yet he was notably holding his position deeper and wider as the second half went on, aware of the need to protect the full back. Whilst his three shots weren’t threatening, it was good to see him having a go in dangerous areas.

Southampton

0-0: Saturday, 11th September

Linked well with the midfield and protected Cresswell for about 75 minutes. But he couldn’t get into the game in an attacking sense, and it’s only his defensive contributions that earn him more than Benrahma.

Crystal Palace

2-2: Saturday, 28th August

His influence waned, but it was no surprise to see him doing his defensive work and covering gaps. The goal was taken brilliantly and the passing was superb. He looks to be improving further and making more impact on the scoresheet.

Leicester City

4-1: Monday, 23rd August

Covered the most distance of any Premier League player this weekend (12.3km): is anyone surprised. The intelligence and technique of the lad are matched with an endless work-rate. Moved centrally to disrupt the Leicester midfield, it worked perfectly. Lucky not to have his ankle broken by Perez, Fornals brushed himself down and carried on at the same level of intensity. The way he presses and harries opponents inspires his teammates too. He could be the best player West Ham have ever had in defending from the front.

Newcastle United

4-2: Sunday, 15th August

An assist for the Cresswell goal and a typical Fornals performance. Worked hard to cover Cresswell - in this quasi-wingback role he plays to protect the left - he still managed to pick pockets of space to influence in attack. Benrahma’s movement made Fornals’ game easier, not only because he had someone on the move to pass to, but also because it took some of the responsibility off the shoulders of the Spaniard.

Celtic

6-2: Saturday, 24th July

Simply outstanding. Two assists with two of the best passes you're likely to see this season at any level. Should be a joy to watch this year.

Celtic

6-2: Saturday, 24th July

Simply outstanding. Two assists with two of the best passes you're likely to see this season at any level. Should be a joy to watch this year.

Southampton

3-0: Sunday, 23rd May

It doesn’t always come off for Pablo, especially around goal, but today it did. Both the finishes were perfect, the power beating the defender for the first and the instinctive reaction on the second something to marvel at. Of course, the man has no ego and remained his usual selfless self, topping things off with an assist for Rice too. A joy.

West Bromwich Albion

3-1: Wednesday, 19th May

He is rarely as neat as Lingard or as skilful as Benrahma, but he works harder than both, makes tackles and interceptions and just defends all over the pitch, whilst having the intelligence to quickly know his next pass when he wins it back. The third goal doesn’t happen without his hard work and smart pass. The second came from a shot he forced the goalkeeper to save for the corner. The first came from his cross that fell to Benrahma. Should be one of the names in the picture for player of the season, but will be overlooked by those who just don’t seem to get him.

Brighton & Hove Albion

1-1: Saturday, 15th May

Should be walking away from this game close to a 10/10 and with goals. But a lack of instinct seems to just halt the brilliance from turning into a flood of goals. There is no smarter West Ham player on that pitch, his passing, teamwork, discipline and ingenuity fantastic. A little extra pace would make him one of the league’s best, although even then he would still need to be better in the opposition penalty area.

Everton

0-1: Saturday, 8th May

You can’t really say many players played well, but Fornals should get a lot of credit. He managed to slot into a deeper role and still be a pivotal part of attacking moves, and deserved an assist for getting Coufal in.

Burnley

2-1: Saturday, 1st May

Another who did brilliantly in a way that won’t warrant major analysis. He was just everywhere, a part of the attack and a part of the midfield, defended from the front and was excellent winning back the ball, including in the build to a first half goal. His passing was intelligent, as he always is, and it was only his lack of sharpness in the Burnley box that cost him man of the match. He and Lanzini were a joy together, a wavelength of intelligent passing and movement.

Chelsea

0-1: Saturday, 24th April

One of the better performers for West Ham, and he still had an average game. Today’s problem very much that no one shone, and often tight games this season have been won by one or two taking control. He was neat, intelligent and links with quick passes very well when building attacks. For all the brilliance he has shown from the left this year, he looks a natural in the middle, central to attacks.

Newcastle United

2-3: Saturday, 17th April

Played reasonably well, neat and tidy for the most part, but doesn’t shine as much against team that defend deep. Less ball to win back and start counters, less work off the ball allowed due to space. Made a couple vital interventions on counters, linked passes through the middle well too.

Leicester City

3-2: Sunday, 11th April

The underrated one of that front three (or four) usually, his work will go under the radar as Lingard and Bowen take the praise. But he worked his socks off to support them and get back and defend. He linked play well and just knows where to go and be. It’s a hard skill to describe, but his game sense is another level.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

3-2: Monday, 5th April

A wonderful finish and he showed the energy and intelligence that was lacking in the side without him. But the finish was something else, a man criticised for his finishing took that chance and made it look so simple when it was anything but. The technique was spectacular. Faded as it went on, his first game back from injury, but a good start to his end of the season.

Leeds United

2-0: Monday, 8th March

Oh that volley deserved more! As ever, Pablo got everywhere, running endlessly, a part of the defensive work one second and then the attacking moves the next. His movement and positional sense is a joy.

Manchester City

1-2: Saturday, 27th February

Fornals and Lingard were really responsible for the moments that unsettled the hosts. Fornals in particular was brilliant defending from the front, with more tackles and interceptions than Rice, whilst the way he opened up the right side of the pitch for the Antonio goal was excellent.

Tottenham Hotspur

2-1: Saturday, 20th February

Usually safer on the ball, he was of course everywhere across the pitch and worked as hard as ever. He seemed to be on Lingard’s wavelength too and the pair dovetailed positionally with intelligence. He can take the assist for the Lingard goal, and take a little credit for leaving the ball to Lingard in the area too. The right choice to start over Benrahma.

Manchester United

0-1: Tuesday, 9th February

Worked hard, as standard, but a couple of times he picked passes poorly when he had great opportunities to create. He had an eagerness to bring inventive and progressive passing in the second half, playing with more freedom through the middle, in a way that others were ignoring, choosing to play safe. But the big moments are where he fell.

Aston Villa

3-1: Wednesday, 3rd February

(Replaced Fredericks, 84) With limited time, he slotted into the team like he’d been on from the start, working hard and enthusiastically involved in some lovely late passing moves. 6 touches, 6 passes, 100% success.

Liverpool

1-3: Sunday, 31st January

Much the same as Bowen, really. One good moment in the first half that got Cresswell in behind, but attacks were rarely built, just rushed. Cresswell barely overlapped and Fornals was there for his running, just like Bowen.

Crystal Palace

3-2: Tuesday, 26th January

Like Benrahma, he allied hard work with astute skill today. Created chances and openings, was abuzz with energy through the whole game and clearly has a very strong understanding with his teammates and of his teammates, clearly knowing how they play and what he can do both offensively and defensively to complement their game. He still goes underrated but is having a wonderful season.

Doncaster Rovers

4-0: Saturday, 23rd January

Took his goal brilliantly and was on a good wavelength with Lanzini and Benrahma.

West Bromwich Albion

2-1: Tuesday, 19th January

(Replaced Lanzini, 62) Seemed to come on to do the running for the tiring attack. Was pressing where Antonio normally would be, before getting back to the wing to defend in front of Cresswell.

Burnley

1-0: Saturday, 16th January

Provided the assist with a lovely curling cross and worked as hard as ever to support Cresswell in defence and any attacks too. At one point he cleared a ball down the line then ran after it to press the defender because no one else did.

Stockport County

1-0: Monday, 11th January

(Replaced Benrahma, 90) No time to do anything.

Everton

1-0: Friday, 1st January

As ever, a great defensive display. He does that work unquestionably. Looked to have an understanding with Benrahma, which is important, and passes cleverly. His awareness of what's around him in an attacking and defensive extent is fantastic. Does need to improve his goalscoring, even if today's chance was very difficult.

Southampton

0-0: Tuesday, 29th December

A quiet first half, Fornals came alive as others tired and covered the whole left whilst drifting centrally. There were moments he was covering gaps left by Soucek, then sprinting across to the left to make sure Cresswell’s hand was held.

Chelsea

0-3: Monday, 21st December

A willing runner, as ever, and he did the job to protect Cresswell. He lacks pace out left and that is more obvious when Haller plays. But he drifts into dangerous pockets and links well, probably coming closest to scoring with a shot blocked as it looked to be going in.

Crystal Palace

1-1: Tuesday, 15th December

Quiet once more, yet he still had a good chance at one end whilst making the most interceptions in the team with only 45 minutes football. You will never get anything less than full effort and discipline from Pablo, but the change in team shape hasn't suited him quite so well as the 5-man defence.

Leeds United

2-1: Friday, 11th December

A bright start soon became a job as part-time Arthur Masuaku. He still had his moments and should have scored with the time and space he had when rushing to drag wide, but with Leeds spending over half their time on the ball attacking down their right, his discipline was very important to keeping Cresswell protected. You would trust him over any other player we have to combine attacking influence with defensive diligence and that is to his credit.

Manchester United

1-3: Saturday, 5th December

The first half was a Bowen/Fornals exhibition game. Their one-touch play and interchange between each other, on the ball and off it, was beguiling and absolutely tore the Manchester United defence and midfield to shreds.

Aston Villa

2-1: Saturday, 28th November

In the first half, it felt like Pablo was asked to take over Antonio's running for him. In the second half, he showed a real ability to find space and lead counter attacks, instrumental in the rare breaks, whilst working hard to defend. Nothing really came off, but his work-rate was again so valuable.

Sheffield United

1-0: Sunday, 22nd November

Like Bowen, he's always involved in West Ham attacks, even if his running isn't always used. Worked hard, as ever, drifted infield well and gets an assist for his blocked shot. His pass to Haller that led to the Soucek chance was brilliant, as was his curling ball that fed Bowen to run into the area. Him and Masuaku play very well together.

Fulham

1-0: Saturday, 7th November

In those bursts of attacks at the start of each half he looked good. But otherwise he was another just outnumbered by the sea of Fulham defenders.

Liverpool

1-2: Saturday, 31st October

Took the goal excellently and again was involved in almost everything dangerous West Ham did. Has a great knack of finding space amidst attacks and counter attacks. Not sure you can blame him for taking on either shot when Bowen was in better positions both times, but the second one on the run into the Liverpool area should really have been a pass. Two games at Anfield, two goals.

Manchester City

1-1: Saturday, 24th October

His hard work and front-foot defending were very important. Supported the striker, whoever it was, even when the rest of the team was defending. As ever, the aside is that Fornals was also back and working hard to defend. He just covers so much ground and his passing outshines Bowen’s.

Tottenham Hotspur

3-3: Sunday, 18th October

There were times he was leading the line up front and times he was the last man back in defence. Another game where his work off the ball will likely go unnoticed but was vital. His movement in the Tottenham half disrupted their counter attack game too.

Leicester City

3-0: Sunday, 4th October

Still going unnoticed by many as how vital he is in this team. Deserved a goal recently and the ability to take that sky-high ball down and go on to score was incredible. The assist for Bowen was inch-perfect and he got through so much defensive work too.

Charlton Athletic

3-0: Tuesday, 15th September

Did not play.

Newcastle United

0-2: Saturday, 12th September

Unlucky with the effort off the bar, found a few little good pockets of space too, but is hamstrung as a winger out left whose first job is to protect Cresswell.

Brentford

2-1: Saturday, 29th August

Worked like a Trojan as per usual and had a hand in West Ham's opening goal, providing the assist for his Ukrainian team mate.

Wycombe Wanderers

5-1: Tuesday, 25th August

n/a

Aston Villa

1-1: Sunday, 26th July

Tried hard, ran into space and is good in tight spaces when we are ticking over possession like this. But the attack was just very flat.

Manchester United

1-1: Wednesday, 22nd July

As ever, Fornals was unselfish and sacrificed himself for the team, working up and down the left like a wing back to protect Cresswell and then support Antonio. Has a great habit of sensing where he’ll be needed in attack and popping up to contribute. Didn’t come off today, but he was useful at both ends.

Watford

3-1: Friday, 17th July

Not his most influential game, but his work rate was as superb as ever and the fact he is chosen at left wing, quite obviously not a natural position, is down to his desire and motivation to do what he needs to do for the team. He sacrifices his own play for the good of the side, whilst making clever runs and often involved in vital moves.

Norwich City

4-0: Saturday, 11th July

Quiet, maybe a game where his hustle and bustle was less necessary, such was the ease of it. Didn't need to be at his best, linking between midfield and attack, always busy and ready.

Burnley

0-1: Wednesday, 8th July

His worst performance for a while. Better when the game has some space and his running up and down has most impact. Just didn’t get into the game.

Chelsea

3-2: Wednesday, 1st July

Does he ever stop running? It was his energy and desire to attack that meant he picked it up as Antonio was thrown to the floor before the second goal. It was him who was square of Yarmolenko in the dying minutes as the third goal went in. His quick touch to Antonio for that breakaway was subtle but brilliant.

Aston Villa

1-1: Sunday, 26th July

Tried hard, ran into space and is good in tight spaces when we are ticking over possession like this. But the attack was just very flat.

Manchester United

1-1: Wednesday, 22nd July

As ever, Fornals was unselfish and sacrificed himself for the team, working up and down the left like a wing back to protect Cresswell and then support Antonio. Has a great habit of sensing where he’ll be needed in attack and popping up to contribute. Didn’t come off today, but he was useful at both ends.

Watford

3-1: Friday, 17th July

Not his most influential game, but his work rate was as superb as ever and the fact he is chosen at left wing, quite obviously not a natural position, is down to his desire and motivation to do what he needs to do for the team. He sacrifices his own play for the good of the side, whilst making clever runs and often involved in vital moves.

Norwich City

4-0: Saturday, 11th July

Quiet, maybe a game where his hustle and bustle was less necessary, such was the ease of it. Didn't need to be at his best, linking between midfield and attack, always busy and ready.

Burnley

0-1: Wednesday, 8th July

His worst performance for a while. Better when the game has some space and his running up and down has most impact. Just didn’t get into the game.

Chelsea

3-2: Wednesday, 1st July

Does he ever stop running? It was his energy and desire to attack that meant he picked it up as Antonio was thrown to the floor before the second goal. It was him who was square of Yarmolenko in the dying minutes as the third goal went in. His quick touch to Antonio for that breakaway was subtle but brilliant.

Tottenham Hotspur

0-2: Tuesday, 23rd June

He missed the big chance, took a yellow and was sloppier than usual. Not his best. Worked hard, as ever.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

0-2: Saturday, 20th June

Worked hard, as he does, but wasted a good chance and was creatively blunt.

Southampton

3-1: Saturday, 29th February

In and out of the team he might go, but again his contributions were notable. A goal on Monday, today it was two superb assists thanks to a subtlety and poise in passing that many others fail to match. Worked exceptionally hard.

Brighton & Hove Albion

3-3: Saturday, 1st February

(Replaced Snodgrass) The wrong substitution and a poor one. Fornals may as well not have been there, although the few minutes he got meant he barely was.

West Bromwich Albion

0-1: Saturday, 25th January

(Replaced Snodgrass) A smashing cameo from a player who is improving with every performance. Scored the goal that put the tie to bed.

Sheffield United

0-1: Friday, 10th January

(Replaced Lanzini) He was introduced too late. It would appear Moyes sees him as one of the two to support the striker, but he may have offered the energy in midfield that Noble couldn’t.

Gillingham

2-0: Sunday, 5th January

(Replaced Snodgrass) A smashing cameo from a player who is improving with every performance. Scored the goal that put the tie to bed.

Southampton

1-0: Saturday, 14th December

Like Snodgrass, he understood the limitations of his role in a 4-4-2, yet did brilliantly to create chances and get into positions for his own.

Arsenal

1-3: Saturday, 7th December

Fornals is continuing to work harder than anyone else in the forward positions, his touch is getting better and he set up the goal wonderfully. Let down by the rest of the side, who don’t match his application.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

0-2: Wednesday, 4th December

Looks more settled, working hard and starting to find his rhythm on the ball. Had the best West Ham shot of the game and produced a perfect pass for Snodgrass’s chance.

Newcastle United

2-3: Saturday, 2nd November

Did not play.

Sheffield United

1-1: Saturday, 26th October

(Replaced Noble) Scurrying around as he does, his ball across the goal was fantastic.

Crystal Palace

1-2: Saturday, 5th October

(Replaced Lanzini) Did little to influence a game that the man he replaced also struggled in.

Bournemouth

2-2: Saturday, 28th September

Worked hard and his energy was useful in the first half. Involved in some good move, but he is still just a little way off being good. Lanzini’s cameo showed what he’s missing.

Oxford United

0-4: Wednesday, 25th September

Not the player for a game requiring physical prowess.

Manchester United

2-0: Sunday, 22nd September

He didn’t really make big contributions, but his influence on the game was in his hard work all over. He did the yards in the middle to give Noble an easier game, made up ground to get to Haller, got across the width of the pitch in attacks too. That off the ball play is encouraging, as the sharpness will come on it.

Norwich City

2-0: Saturday, 31st August

(Replaced Anderson) Few minutes but he ran hard and had a few nice touches.

Newport County

2-0: Tuesday, 27th August

Missed a big chance and floated around aimlessly at times, but really good work for his goal. Still seems a little bit off where he needs to be, lacking some sharpness.

Watford

3-1: Saturday, 24th August

(Replaced Anderson) Quietly into the game late on to little impact.

Brighton & Hove Albion

1-1: Saturday, 17th August

Off the pace of the league so far. An extra touch here or there that isn’t needed.

Manchester City

0-5: Saturday, 10th August

(Replaced Antonio) Looked a bit lost, certainly not adapted to the pace of the Premier League, and he came on against a charged up City. As rude an awakening as you can get, he’ll need time to get used to it. Quite anonymous.

Athletico Bilbao

2-2: Saturday, 3rd August

Always looking to make something happen. Scored United's second. He looks like a great addition to the squad.

Hertha Berlin

5-3: Wednesday, 31st July

Just about the best player on the park. Scored a lovely goal and looked lively throughout.
Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.

Pablo Fornals did not play for West Ham during this season.